Whatever needs you have when creating a website, it seems that there are a million ways to satisfy them. Countless tools provide useful features and each new web platform causes the internet to advance even faster. But it can be hard determining which web platform will suit your needs the best. Before you build your site, you should at least be aware of some of your best options for web platforms.
Firstly, I would mention that of all the web platforms available on the internet, WordPress is by far my favorite for a variety of reasons.
For those of you unfamiliar with WordPress, it is a web platform that integrates many aspects of web design, SEO, and countless other disciplines into one package. They have been around since 2003, but their growth as a company has exploded in the last 7 years or so.
Open Source Advantages
One of the best things about WordPress is the fact that it’s an open platform. What this means is that developers all over the world have access to the source code. If you’re not a technically inclined person, you may be asking yourself why this is important. Because WordPress is open source, anyone in the world can write their own code for this platform. This allows people to create digital works of art and offer it to the public for free if they choose to do so. Other times, people choose to charge for their work.
The open source nature of WordPress means that people all over the world can create plugins and themes. This is one of the reasons there are thousands upon thousands of quality widgets and plugins that will enhance your site and add value. The components are very modular and it is very simple to add and remove them. The vast amount of plugins and extensions seem to be endless and limited only by your imagination. If you can dream it, someone has most likely already written a plugin for it.
WordPress also has a very simple and intuitive interface without sacrificing powerful high level features that give you complete control of your website. Because you still have the option to hard code any number of components of your website, WordPress is attractive for newbies and experienced web veterans alike.
Tumblr is not without its own advantages, and it is certainly competing fiercely against WordPress. Today, Tumblr hosts approximately 200 million blogs and has over 90 billion blog posts. One advantage of Tumblr that could also be viewed as a disadvantage (depending on your perspective) is this: Tumblr is very simple to use. If you are inexperienced at building a website or a blog, Tumblr is a great way to get started.
The interface was designed to be simplistic and minimalist so as not to confuse new users. While this is attractive to people who lack web coding experience, it is challenging for people who need to make changes to their website’s backend. Your options are somewhat limited, and you may not be able to customize a component exactly how you want it. This is one area where WordPress outperforms Tumblr.
On the other hand, another benefit of Tumblr is its price tag. It is completely free, and like WordPress, you have the opportunity to download free themes to get you started. Unfortunately, Tumblr is not open source, so coders are not able to be as creative with this platform as they are with WordPress.
Sqaurespace isn’t open source either, and while this platform is well loved by inexperienced web designers, many experts feel that a lack of features and extensibility are the largest drawbacks to this platform.
Squarespace does offer high quality features for ecommerce applications, email marketing (via Mailchimp), blogging features, analytics and metric applications, and social media integration. Additionally, you do have options that allow you to embed markup code and scripts to you web pages, providing you with the ability to code without a GUI interface. However, Squarespace is not as fully featured as WordPress.
The RainMaker platform has been getting a lot of attention lately, and it claims to be an all-inclusive solution marketed as a more powerful and less tedious web platform. RainMaker is actually based on WordPress code under the hood, and while this may sound great at first, it does not come close to offering as many extensions as WordPress.
The goal of this platform is to eliminate the ability and need to make behind the scenes changes to the backend in an effort to simply content management. While many inexperienced individuals love this platform, in all honesty it seems to be a watered down version of WordPress.
In summary, I think that all of these web platforms have their merits. Although, I do not think that any of them can hold a candle to the extensibility and power of WordPress. WordPress has been around a very long time and has evolved into a very sophisticated and flexible platform. It seems that WordPress can do almost anything and is well suited for beginners and experts alike.